Terms for the trading platform
Whichever option you take — a browser-based approach or an integrated trading platform — you decide to use it, you need a reasonably reliable and powerful computer, with a large amount of both operational and external memory.
Some of the powerful modern integrated trading software systems require the use of equally powerful computer systems. In this section, we set out general recommendations on the choice of hardware for computer systems, but if you decide that you need a computer that can be upgraded to the level required for the normal operation of a high-performance integrated trading platform, then you will need to consult specific software vendors. Provide, which will help you, if necessary, define specific requirements for technical means. In any case, you must be sure that the hardware you choose supports your software.
Software vendors often claim that their products can function successfully on relatively modest configurations of hardware, but you will probably be upset and disappointed with the performance of your system under these conditions. These software packages work much better on a computer that significantly exceeds the requirements of such systems. Trading platforms - especially applications designed for testing systems, as well as multi-chart, multi-window and multi-monitor information display systems - consume a significant share of system resources and can significantly slow down the work of many computers.
The following minimum configurations successfully support browser-based solutions. However, more efficient configurations may be needed to adequately support fully integrated trading environments.
Central processor At a minimum, you need a processor with a clock frequency of 500 MHz. Generally speaking, the higher the processor clock speed, the better.Trading applications, as a rule, have a high content of mathematical calculations, so you are most suitable for either an Intel Pentium processor or an AMD Athlon processor. Celeron or Duron chipsets are a very undesirable option, since they are not adapted to run such applications.
The slowest computers on the market today work at clock speeds of the order of several gigahertz. In addition, the speed of central processors of most modern computers allows you to run on such computers application programs designed to build diagrams and diagrams. However, the most complex of such programs should be performed on specialized computers, such as multiprocessor and hyperthread configurations. Specific requirements are available from the respective software developers.
RAM. 128 MB RAM is the absolute minimum; however, it is desirable to have a much larger amount of RAM. RAM is an inexpensive resource, in comparison with some other components of computer equipment, and no matter how large the amount of RAM you have implemented in your computer,too big it will never be. RAM with the function of correcting errors will save you from an extra headache - especially since its cost is not much higher than the cost of standard RAM.
The amount of hard disk space. 100 MB of free hard disk space may initially be quite enough, but for long-term storage of stock price data in real time you may need a lot more free hard disk space. Methods of personalization of the trading system are discussed in Chapter 15.
Operating system. If you are running in a Window environment, then you will need at least a version of Window XP. Despite the fact that browsers and software applications can work on older versions of Window, XP will provide you with greater stability and reliability than earlier versions of Window. For trading applications you will need the most reliable system of those that are available today. Window XP may not be a completely “bulletproof” operating system, but it’s so much better than its predecessors that you should get it.If not yet done so.
Video card Despite the fact that you might have been able to save money by using a video system with shared memory, it would be much better if you have a standalone video card installed in your computer that has its own video memory.
The minimum configuration for a single-monitor system requires at least 16 MB of video memory. If you chose the option with one video card and two monitors, then a more suitable amount of video memory is 64 MB.
Monitor screen size. A 17-inch monitor is the minimum option for you. Generally speaking, the larger the screen, the better. The monitor on a cathode ray tube is distinguished by greater clarity of the image. An LCD monitor “smears” motion pictures somewhat, which is not very good when you view small, wavy lines on a price chart or when you study a spreadsheet that presents detailed “historical” pricing information.
Configurations with two monitors. Some traders prefer a dual monitor configuration.The idea of such a two-monitor configuration is to display all your diagrams on one monitor, and all other information on another monitor. Many video cards support this dual-monitor configuration.
Network interface You need high-speed Internet connection. Many computers are now equipped with either an integrated Ethernet port or an optional Ethernet interface card. Both options are acceptable.
Power computer system. We recommend using an uninterruptible power supply. UPS is a relatively inexpensive device that provides your computer system with an extra level of protection. Some UPSs protect computer equipment from lightning. If you live in an area where interruptions of electricity happen quite often, then the use of the UPS is mandatory.
You must have reliable access to the Internet, which is provided by a high-speed connection - either DL, or a cable connection to the Internet. To ensure even higher reliability, some of the most active day traders use a shared T1 communication line or a dedicated T1 communication line,However, these and other options are very expensive. A dial-up connection, from the point of view of trading operations, is neither fast enough nor reliable enough.
If a dial-up telephone connection is the only option available to you, then your work in such conditions will be, as they say, “on the edge of the possible.” That is why we recommend you as soon as possible to acquire a more acceptable option.
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